Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Top Three Ways to Get Facebookers to Read Your Story: Post It on the Weekend, Use a Number and Don’t Talk About Twitter

Facebook may or may not be bigger than Google (GOOG). Actually, it probably isn’t. But it’s certainly big enough, and generates enough traffic, that Web publishers are desperately trying to figure out how to harness it.

Enter Dan Zarrella, a self-described “social media marketing & viral marketing scientist,” who has been doing some interesting research about the way Facebook users share Web links. Some of his findings, in ascending order of usefulness:

It’s not surprising that people who use Facebook aren’t terribly interested in stories about Twitter–unlike Twitter-obsessed Twitter users. And there’s not much a publisher can do with that info. The fact that people like numbers and lists is behind a magazine trick the Web has already embraced wholeheartedly.

Zarrella’s research about weekend posts, though, is worth chewing on for a second. He suggests that Facebook users are more likely to share stuff on weekends because they lack time to get on the site during the work week.

But if that were the case, you’d figure Facebook would have a well-documented usage drop from Monday through Friday. And if someone’s reported on that, I haven’t seen it.

Here’s a guess I can’t back up with numbers: Maybe people are more apt to share stuff on the weekends because they’ve got more time to read.

In any event, Zarrella’s advice to post items on the weekend is sensible, but limited–there aren’t a lot of Web publishers who can take a pass on five days each week.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work